The US dollar saw mixed performance against major currencies on Friday after the release of better-than-expected job gains and wage growth data for April. While the greenback strengthened against the Japanese yen, it gave back earlier gains against the euro. However, investors remained cautious due to downward revisions for March and uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. This article will delve deeper into the factors that influenced the dollar’s performance and its outlook in the near term.
Job Gains and Wage Growth Beat Forecasts:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US employers added 253,000 jobs in April, surpassing economists’ expectations of a 180,000 gain. Moreover, the average hourly earnings rose at an annual rate of 4.4%, higher than the projected increase of 4.2%. These figures indicated that the US economy continued to expand despite concerns about a slowdown.
Downward Revisions for March:
However, the data for March was revised downwards to show 165,000 jobs added, instead of the previously reported 236,000. This downward revision indicated that the job market was not as robust as initially believed. Vassili Serebriakov, an FX strategist at UBS in New York, noted that the headline number was not as strong as it looked due to the backward revisions. This uncertainty may have contributed to the dollar’s mixed performance on Friday.
Impact on Federal Reserve Policy:
The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is also a key factor in the dollar’s performance. As the US economy expands, investors have been speculating about the Fed’s next move. While the central bank had been gradually raising interest rates to curb inflation, it is now expected to pause or even cut rates in the second half of this year. This change in policy stance has put downward pressure on the dollar.
Despite the positive job gains and wage growth data, investors remained cautious due to uncertainty about the Fed’s policy stance and the possibility of further revisions to the jobs data. The dollar has already fallen from its 20-year high last September as investors adjust to the likelihood of the Fed’s more accommodative policy. While there are still pockets of strength in the US economy, such as the job market and consumer spending, investors are hesitant to get too bullish on the dollar.
According to Serebriakov, the near-term outlook for the dollar depends on more clear directional signals from US data. Investors will be closely watching economic indicators such as GDP growth, inflation, and consumer sentiment to gauge the strength of the US economy and the likelihood of a Fed rate cut. However, uncertainty around the Fed’s policy stance may continue to weigh on the dollar’s performance.
The US dollar saw mixed performance on Friday after strong job gains and wage growth data for April beat economists’ forecasts. While the data was positive, downward revisions for March and uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy left investors cautious. The dollar’s near-term outlook depends on more clear directional signals from US data and the Fed’s policy stance. Investors will be closely monitoring economic indicators to gauge the strength of the US economy and the likelihood of a Fed rate cut.